What was supposed to be a secret trade union meeting ended with a mediation trial and the imprisonment of the “Carabanshel Dozen” as a living symbol of Franco’s repression. Fifty years ago, on St. John’s Day in 1972, most of the leadership of the workers’ commissions were arrested by the Francoist police. The order of the Social Political Brigade against the labor movement gave rise to the so-called 1001 trial, a trial that focused on the rigors of Francoism over essential freedoms in most countries. The regime, which was in its final rush and which sought to impose a certain image of moderation, imposed very high fines on trade union leaders who contributed to the dismantling of this mirage. Not only inside the country, but also abroad, by increasing solidarity with the mobilization of trade unions in Spain.
“1972 was a year of repression,” recalls Christina Almeida, a labor lawyer who was part of the CCOO leadership during this episode. Only two women were involved: she and lawyer Francesca (“Paka”) Sachelio, who spoke at the trial against the labor movement in Madrid this Friday.
“1972 was a year of repression,” which they saw in their offices and even at home, where they received numerous cases of retaliation by workers and other citizens, such as members of the LGTBI team, warned Paka Saqilo. But many did not know this, or how much. Both inside the country and abroad. Before Process 1001 arrived.
It all started with the arrest of most of the CCOO covert leadership, those who would go down in history as the “Carabanselli Dozen” for their imprisonment in Madrid’s neighborhood: Marcelino Camacho, Nicolas Sartorius, Francisco Garcia Salve, Juan. Muniz Zapico, Francisco Acosta, Fernando Soto, Eduardo Sabrido, Miguel ზngel Zamora, Pedro Santiestebani and Luis Fernando Costila.
The arrest was the initial signal for a case that sparked a backlash, both inside and outside the country, over the high sentences demanded by the prosecution, and which was finally agreed to by the Francoist Public Order Court.
“They were demanding 20 years in prison here. It was a sentence that was not even imposed on those who killed the king, because the Criminal Code almost ended with those sentences,” recalls Christina Almeida with a laugh, with her usual sense of humor. Respect for the trial. Imprisonment for up to 20 years and one day for trade union leaders such as Marcelino Camacho, and a minimum of 12 years in prison for others such as Acosta and Santistban. “As if they were the worst criminals in the world,” said the labor activist.
“The demand for punishment was really unusual and inappropriate for the time and the public order court. After all, they were accused of leading a trade union organization, no matter how illegal it was,” recall Jose Antonio Perez and Maika Munoz Ruiz. In the book Process 1001. Franco Regime v. Workers’ CommissionsWhich Catarata recently published with Fundación 1 de Mayo on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the event.
The prosecution’s position turned into a white conviction, with all of them facing heavy detention, in a trial marked by a decisive event: the murder of Carrero Blanco by ETA on the same day that the oral hearing began. , December 20, 1973. “They were punished for the crime that there was nothing in the European environment other than the exercise of democratic rights such as freedom of association and assembly,” the two historians collect.
The ETA attack was facilitated, but it was not the only reason for a solid sentence, the heroes of the trial note. “We have wondered many times why this is cruel,” said Nicolas Sartorius, now chairman of the advisory board of the Fundación Alternativas and one of the “Carabangel ten” who spoke on behalf of the convicts in Madrid this Friday. dead. “This can only be explained in the context of the growing mobilization of workers, in many parts of Spain, against men and women who ‘risk their jobs, their freedom and their lives against a dictatorship that has refused to disappear.’
For the convicts, the Franco regime “intended to teach a lesson that would weaken social movements in the light of what might happen in the future,” said Nicolas Sartrouis. End the regime and move to a democratic system that “was already defaulted.” “It was a heavy blow, you have to admit, but they could not stop the social struggles or whatever they called it. Diversion. “It continued to grow until democracy was conquered,” Sartorius said.
Attorneys Almeida and Sachelio literally warned of the opposite effect of the lawsuit. The “Carabanselli ten” became a symbol of repression and gained “much solidarity” at borders and abroad, with international mobilizations pointing to the restriction of basic rights in Spain.
Their faces and names were multiplied in pamphlets and protest acts. With a significant focus on France, trade unionists, but also intellectuals and artists from Europe and the United States are mobilized for the benefit of those locked in Carabancel, collects the 1 de Mayo Foundation book. From the Bulletin of Solidarity, printed in French and Spanish in a basement near the Sorbonne University (Paris), to the publication of personalized booklets of each imprisoned hero, and the Six Hours for Spain initiative, featuring artists. As writer Jean Cassou, singer and actress Julietta Greco, composer Mickey Theodorakis and poet Marcos Anna and others.
“There are moments in the history of countries when you look at perspective, you realize that they change lives. They are like doors that allow a country to move from one room to another. This event has changed that country,” he said. And the President of the Economic and Social Council (CES), Anton Costas, at a tribute ceremony held at the state-level House of Social Dialogue.
Workers’ commissions led the 50th anniversary of this inaugural act, but together with the hand-in-hand government and CES, they wished to commemorate not only “Union and Union” but also to expand its scope. “Institutions recognize the role of workers in the democratic history of this country,” said Unai Sordo, CCOO Secretary-General.
Discover the process for 1001 post-Franco generations to understand its importance not only in the labor movement and specifically in unification, but also in its role in the rhythms of the transition period that left behind four decades of dictatorial rule.
“We were not liberated by any army, foreign or national, as happened in Europe after Nazism. We must be liberated,” said Nicolas Sartorius, who emphasizes the role of various social movements in ending dictatorships for workers and others, such as students. “Democracy did not come to Spain after the death of the dictator,” Sartorius recalled. “There were crucial years in Spanish history in which we played the future of this country. We had to fight a lot until we reached the 1978 constitution, of which we consider ourselves an integral part,” he said.
Unai Sordo also stressed the need to restore the role of workers in the history of democratic recovery. “There is a sweet, biased and partial historiography of the transition period,” he criticizes. Recognizing the central role of political parties in the opposition with the “more innovative” sectors of the Franco regime realizing that the dictatorship was coming to an end, “this is a fundamental part of the changes that have taken place, especially of social mobilization. “Workers who have accelerated these changes and abolished the first transitional model of the Franco regime without Franco, whom Ira Navarro embodied as president,” Sordo said.
Source: El Diario